UPDATE: Coronavirus Has Killed More Than 500 U.S. Healthcare Workers
However, the death toll of healthcare workers from COVID-19 is most likely higher.
UPDATE JULY 10, 2020: The U.S. healthcare worker death toll from COVID-19 is now 515.
UPDATE JUNE 23, 2020: The U.S. healthcare worker death toll is now 465.
UPDATE JUNE 17, 2020: The U.S. healthcare worker death toll is now 417.
UPDATE JUNE 8, 2020: The U.S. healthcare worker death toll is now 371.
UPDATE JUNE 5, 2020: The U.S. healthcare worker death toll is now 368.
ORIGINAL JUNE 2, 2020 article:
According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 323 American healthcare workers have died from the coronavirus so far. Additionally, 66,770 healthcare personnel have been infected.
These numbers, however, are probably an undercount of the overall impact on employees who work at medical facilities. Only 21% of the cases reported to the CDC identify the patient as a healthcare employee. Additionally, for the 66,770 cases of COVID-19 among healthcare personnel, death status was only available for 37,750 or 56% of those cases.
COVID-19 testing of medical personnel also continues to be a challenge.
Zenei Cortez, who is president of National Nurses United (NNU) told NPR that of the 23,000 nurses the NNU surveyed, more than 80% had not been tested for the coronavirus.
Additionally, Cortez says there still isn’t enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for nurses. PPE continues to be rationed by many hospitals and nursing homes.
Cortez is concerned that the lack of PPE and unsafe infection control practices could become the norm at U.S. medical facilities.
Nurses across the country have been expressing their concerns about the lack of PPE for more than two months now.
In April, registered nurses from NNU protested in front of the White House to “call attention to the tens of thousands of healthcare workers nationwide who have become infected with COVID-19 due to lack of PPE.”
In Michigan, with the support of the Michigan Nurses Association, Justin Howe filed the lawsuit on May 1, claiming he was fired from his former employer for publicly speaking about concerns regarding the safety of frontline healthcare workers and patients at Hackley Hospital and the lack of PPE.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the federal government, states and hospitals have been struggling to obtain enough PPE. Hospitals have been relying on the generous donations from the community and corporations, as well as resorting to extraordinary measures to obtain the supplies they need.
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